Please visit them and admire their other projects as well!
Piksol is a novel way of decorating sun-facing facades of buildings, which combines the freedom in the visual design of facades with capabilities of collecting solar energy on the facade. A piksol is an object representing a single pixel of an image to be visible on a facade. When attached to a sun-facing facade of a building, it plays a double role (see Fig. 1 below)
the form of the piksol casts a shadow on the facade, representing a (black) pixel of the image/pattern to be visible on the facade
the solar cells on the top of the piksol collect the sun energy and transform it to electricity
PIKSOL: A SOLAR PIXEL
Figure 2. A facade covered with piksols on a sunny day.
An observer standing in the front of a facade decorated by piksols does not see the solar cells at all, but only the pattern or an image conceived by a designer, visible as a light/shadow variation on the facade. On a cloudy day, when there is no direct sun illumination of the facade, the partern is hardly visible.
Figure 3. Piksols as building blocks of a shadow casting panel.
Piksols in a shadow casting panel
While the basic usage of piksols as described above already has several advantages over just covering a facade with solar cells, we think that the concept of piksol becomes particularly interesting in combination with so-called shadow casting panels: piksols used in a shadow casting panel can be used for creation of dynamic facades, which not only collect solar energy, but also change their appearance during the day, as the direction of sun illumination changes:
in the morning image_A would decorate the facade, and in the afternoon image_B would become visible.
Piksols can also be used to create colorful images on facades, by using solar cells with frames made of transparent plastics, similarly as in the case of colorful shadow casting panels.